“As an institution, we are best-suited to celebrating the founding of the city of Detroit,” said Bob Bury, CEO of the Detroit Historical Society. “This year, we’re excited to expand our festivities into the tri-county area to unite our region in the celebration.”
What began prior to Detroit’s 300th celebration has spurred a tradition. The Detroit Historical Museum will open its doors yet again for free admission to a special birthday celebration on Sunday, July 24. This year the museum welcomes the public to visit from 1-4 p.m. with activities featuring Kidz Art Zone Crafts, the Pettibone Native American Tribe, and the French Canadian Heritage Society.
At the museum, located at 5401 Woodward Ave., families can learn their genealogical history with Detroit Historical Society docent Al Trudeau. At 1 p.m. visitors can attend a free screening of Regional Roots: The Birth and Evolution of Detroit and its People, with a presentation by the documentary’s director, Carrie Lezotte. And, no celebration would be complete without cake! Admission and cake while it lasts are both free.
Detroit’s 310th birthday party extends to the Dossin Great Lakes Museum, located at 100 Strand Drive on Belle Isle, with free cupcakes while they last from noon to 2 p.m. The Dossin welcomes visitors to see its two latest exhibits -To Scale: Great Lakes Model Ship Builders and Bells and Whistles, Flags and Flashes: Lost Languages of the Lakes.
Then, for the first time, the party will go regional. Organizers at the Detroit Historical Society have reached out to create special events at area shopping malls to bring the celebration close to home for visitors of the museums.
“We wanted to have an opportunity to invite more people to enjoy the 310th birthday at public venues closer to their neighborhoods,” added Bury.
The celebration at each mall will include birthday treats, family-friendly activities and in some cases even live entertainment. Detroit Historical Society representatives will be on hand at each location to share information about Detroit history and the museums. The participating malls include:
- Macomb Mall– Saturday, July 23, 2011. 1–4 p.m. The Kohl’s Court will set the scene for a birthday celebration that includes cupcakes, children’s activities and a festive atmosphere. Kids will be encouraged to stop by and try their hand at innovation by designing a flying car. Macomb Mall is at located 32233 Gratiot Ave. Roseville, Mi.
- Northland Center–Saturday, July 23, 2011. 1-4 p.m. Visitors are welcome to test their knowledge in a Detroit-themed trivia contest. Answer questions to win passes to the Detroit Historical Museum. Northland Center is located at 21500 Northwestern Highway, Southfield, Mi.
- Fairlane Town Center– Noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 23, 2011. Families will be invited to participate in the festivities as storyteller Linda Boston leads an immersive presentation focusing on the Underground Railroad. The audience will discover the role that the Detroit River, and the people of Detroit, played in this important time in American history. After the presentation, families can enjoy cupcakes and snacks. Fairlane Town Center is located at18900 Michigan Avenue, Dearborn, Mi.
- Westland Shopping Center – Saturday, July 23, 2011 1-4 p.m. The Dodworth Duo will perform Americana songs as visitors enjoy cookies by Mrs. Fields at Westland Shopping Center, 35000 W. Warren in Westland.
- Somerset Collection– Noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 24, 2011. Visitors will be entertained by the Dodworth Duo singing a program of classic Americana tunes. Guests will receive vouchers for free soda pop at the Detroit Shoppe. Those who make purchases up to a specified value at the Detroit Shoppe on July 24th will be instructed to take their receipts to the Somerset concierge to receive a pass worth free admission to the Detroit Historical Museum. Somerset Collection is located at 2800 W. Big Beaver Road. Troy, Mi.
The Detroit Historical Society is a private, nonprofit organization located in Midtown, the heart of Detroit’s cultural center. Founded in 1921, its mission is to educate and inspire our community and visitors by preserving and portraying our region’s shared history through dynamic exhibits and experiences. Today, the Society operates the Detroit Historical Museum and the Dossin Great Lakes Museum. In addition, the Society is responsible for the conservation and preservation of more than 250,000 artifacts that represent three centuries of our region’s rich history. Through its museum exhibits, school tour programs, community-based programs and history-themed outreach efforts, the society serves more than 100,000 people annually. For more information on the Detroit Historical Society, visitdetroithistorical.org.